Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Here's a open question for you guys:

If we do a calisthenics tournament how do you think it should be judged and what categories would you like to see?

Leave your opinions in the comments

Monday, December 29, 2008

Richie Rick

Getting all types of money:

Not Broken

but not great, so the Dr. says that my foot probably isn't broken but that it may take a few weeks to heel. Since it hurts to walk he gave me one of these:

It won't hold me back too much I don't think though. I can still do most upper body exercises, possibly one legged squats on the left leg and leg raises for the injured right. Right now though I feel a bit deflated. It didn't stop me from doing lever pulls this morning though, and this evening I will see what kind of pushing variations will work.

Here's a reminder of a sunnier time, courtesy of the Harlem Seals, Summer 2008:

Alternative to Ab Wheel

So I went to Home Depot yesterday to buy lawn mower tires to create my own one-arm ab-wheel. Well what do you know Home Depot in Manhattan does not sell lawn mower tires. Guess I should have seen that one coming. I would not be stopped though so I made due with what I had. Namely the rings:

you can buy a pair for $59 at gymnastic bodies . To do something like ab wheel roll-outs just hang them very low, just a few inches above the ground. I tried the one arm variation and it is pretty tough, especially on the bicep and it requires a lot of lat and trap tension to maintain position.

To hit the legs more after that I used my two arm ab wheel and did some single leg roll-outs, which are just like the normal roll-out except you keep one foot off the ground. This really hits the quads.

I was pretty pleased with both of these exercises. Unfortunately, I practiced one-arm handstands afterwords and lost my balance and almost broke my toe on the couch (at least I hope it's not broken). After crying and sulking a bit, I decided that I didn't want to admit defeat, so I finished off the workout with wide grip back levers and reverse wrist curls (which are a good prehab movement). I do the back levers with a wide underhand grip and try to pull towards the bar once I reach horizontal, with the hopes that one day I will be able to pull from back lever to maltese on the rings.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Evil Wheel / Ab Wheel

This is a very useful tool, and it's cheap. A great addition to any home gym. Most of the store-bought models are designed for two handed use. Below Ross shows how to work up to one-arm variations:

He also explains on his site how to build one of these wheels

I'm going to give it a try. For now I've been using the two arm version and doing one arm jack lalane push-ups but less bouncy than jack as I generally try to avoid momentum for the sake of my joints. I think to keep moving forward though I'm going to have to get the one arm-wheel maybe then I can work up to this variation that I read about on dragoondoor:

"You can do a two-legged, one-arm evil wheel or the more difficult one-legged, one-arm version of this drill. With the one-arm, one-legged drill, hold the wheel in the hand opposite of the leg that is on the floor. Work up to these exercises in much the same way as you worked up to the standing two-armed version. If the one-arm, one-leg version becomes too easy, you can grab a light dumbbell in your free hand to make it more challenging."


Friday, December 26, 2008

Gymnastic Power

This video has a lot of great gymnastic power and agility:

Yuri Van Gelder does some excellent ring push-ups (maltese to planche for reps) and there are also excellent examples of all of the cross elements (including the victorian)

Alain Robert training

This guy climbs sky scrappers for fun. Here he is training:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

One Arm Pull-ups (OAPs)

This is a tough move that some of the Bar-barians (like Zef) can do very easily:

I have been working on it for a while and I still don't quite have it. I figured I just wasn't strong enough to do it. I think it might partially be a problem of technique though. If you watch Zef you will see that he brings the shoulder of the non-working arm towards the bar (Jim Bathhurst also mentions that he generally turns towards the bar while doing the OAP in his excellent OAP tutorial ). I have been trying to pull straight up and getting stuck about half-way. This makes sense because at the half-way point your elbow is at a 90 angle and your body is at it's furthest from the bar. By turning towards the bar you reduce your distance, and increase your mechanical advantage.

For the last couple of days I've been thinking about this as often as 16 y.o. boys think about sex. I'm obsessed. Been itching to try it but I'm still too sore. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be recovered and I will make some further progress implementing this technique.

If you have been working the OAP, let us know how you are doing with it. Successes, or failures, I'm interested to hear peoples' experiences.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hand Walking

I think everyone should be able to do this:

If we were taught this as little kids we would all be able to walk on our hands. Would be a lot cooler than learning how to play baseball.

The Jailhouse Rock

so a lot of people are first exposed to the pull-up game in the prison yard. Probably one of the only positive things to come out of the prison industrial complex.

Here's Giant talking about his time locked up:

Great Page

Prime has a great youtube page, lot's of videos at TSP:

Here's a good one he took of Zef:

Get Money?

Health is wealth, so when we do reps we say that we are "Getting Money."

In NYC everyone knows this, but we realize that people love to chin worldwide so we're going to help you guys abroad to understand all aspects of our scene.

Indian Head Penny

This man is rich, old money, Jack has been doing reps since before most of our parents were alive.

Bodyweight Conditioning may seem new, but really it is the original means of training. It has just been out of style for a while because it doesn't sell any cybex machines or gym memberships. People are getting smart now though, they're tired of paying money to get fit, when they could be getting money to get ripped.

Individuality and Inspiration

We all admire gymnasts, especially ring-men for their amazing strength and control. The problem is that the scoring system in gymnastics encourages everybody to do the same moves. As a result they do push themselves to amazing heights (like Chen YiBing's maltese to inverted cross, or Danny Rodrigues' Victorian), BUT for the most part they are all doing the same moves. It gets boring to watch 10 routines when they are all doing the same moves.

The Bodyweight strength scene is still young though and there are still many different competing styles. The creativity has not been killed by standardization. Here is a great example. Guinness World Record Flag Master Dominic Lacasse shows that pole dancing isn't just for girls:


So it's winter in NYC, for the most part the parks are empty, bars frozen. Scant few are willing to brave the elements to get in their reps. There are a few exceptions:

The Highlanders won't quit!

Rick has been working out at TSP (Thompkins Square Park) and Wingate (Wingate Park in Brooklyn) with the rest of the team getting footage for the upcoming DVD. I know he's got in sessions with Zef, Andy, and Jay. He's putting together a trailer now, so look out for that.

For the most part I have been avoiding out-door workouts since the beginning of November. The secret to staying warm is taking short breaks between sets. Unlike most of the team though I prefer to take longer rests to let my heart beat return to its resting rate before starting my next set. This way I can focus on developing maximal strength. Once I start to stagnate with that approach I will switch things up, do higher reps, with shorter rests to bring up my strength endurance. A wise man once said "Every program works, but no program works forever."


We're going to use this blog to keep track of all of the developments in the Bodyweight Scene, with a special focus on all of the pull-up crews in NYC. You'll also find regular updates on our team, the Bar-barians. We'll let you know when we post new clips, how things are going with the DVD, and what we're working on with our training. Once it gets a little bit warmer we'll also start posting info on meet-ups.

I have spent a lot of time combing youtube, Beast Skills, Gymnastics Bodies, and even searching google for clips and info on bodyweight training. These are all great resources, but it always bothered me that there was no central portal for info on this awesome style of training. From now on though, there will be. You can rely on us to bring you FREQUENT UPDATES, and in depth discussion. If you check our site regularly, I guarantee that you won't miss a thing.

A.K.A. Mad Money